How to Land an Internship this Summer

Whether you’re studying marketing, social work, political science, business, pretty much anything… every college student hears about how valuable experience in their field truly is when looking for a job after graduation. To some of us, it may seem as though we have all the time in the world. Next thing you know, you’re entering your junior or senior year and you have no idea what your next steps are.

We’ve all got a lot on our plate—classes, clubs and involvement, work, a social life (occasionally), let alone adding an internship search on top of that. The summer is the perfect time to dedicate sharpening your skills and getting the internship experience you’ve been hoping for. This article was designed with you and your future in mind. So grab your favorite tea and take some notes, because this one’s important.

Is your social media up to par? 

First things first, clean up and amp up your accounts on all social media networks. The "clean up" aspect is pretty self-explanatory, but the “amp up” portion takes a bit more work. Start treating social media as your platform to the public and possible employers rather than just friends and family. Creating a LinkedIn is essential at this point to building an online network. Make sure your photo reflects what you are trying to attract. If you’re a chemistry major, take your photo in your lab coat. Studying music? Pose with your instrument in hand!

Email etiquette

Everyone had that embarrassing email from middle school that would come back to haunt you every now and then. Hopefully, that’s long gone by now, but your email may still not be as professional as it could be. Adding a signature to your email can make all the difference and put you ahead of the curve. Including basic information like your name, major, school, and phone number is a good place to start. Depending on what your field is, you may want to add links to social media accounts or even a portfolio or website if you have one.

Pick your experience

Once you feel your online presence is polished and ready to go, the hunt is on. Research, research, research. Begin figuring out what kind of company you’re interested in interning with. Whether it be a nonprofit, local brand, or a larger corporation, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in an internship before you start sending out emails willy-nilly.

Make your move!

Now that you have some companies in mind, it’s time for the kind of scary part—actually reaching out to them. When writing to your potential future boss, there are three things you should try to exude: enthusiasm, knowledge and willingness. In my experience, when I was searching for internship opportunities, this is definitely how I tried to portray myself. I showed excitement for even perhaps having the chance to work with companies or be invited for an interview. I sprinkled in tidbits of my knowledge of the field, included a cover letter and a link to my online portfolio. Finally, I made sure it was obvious I was willing to work for free in order to learn any and everything from anyone who would give me the chance.

If you start your search now, an internship opportunity could be on the horizon before you know it. Working to get your resume up to par before graduation will be the key to having an edge over other applicants. Be persistent in your search and don’t get discouraged. This is the summer you’ve been waiting for.

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